Jun 132012
 

From The SSD Review

Starboard Storage Systems, a company that was launched in February, has announced the release of their AC72 mixed storage system.

Facilitating what Starboard is calling “Application Crafted Storage”, the new unit should allow administrators to employ a “set it and forget it” attitude when it comes to managing storage.

This will allow the focus to be exclusively on maintaining applications. Many an IT manager will no doubt appreciate this.

The new system will incorporate what the company is referring to as a Dynamic Storage Pool, which transfers data in parallel so that performance scales with the addition of new drives. The feature also allows new drives to be added on the fly and doesn’t require any array rebuilding, like a traditional RAID configuration would, which should make any wired techs job that much easier.

Starboard also mentions an SSD accelerator tier, which, like the name implies, is a multi-tiered SSD caching scheme which allocates the newest data to the fastest storage. Starboard states that performance is doubled by its inclusion, making it a welcome addition which should significantly improve application performance, providing consistent responsiveness for end-users and admins alike.

The AC72 will include support for protocols such as CIFS, NFS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel, and will provide up to 474TB of storage. Starboard Storage Pricing starts at $59,995 for the 24 TB variant. Costs may vary based on location and channel method.

The interesting thing about this news is, of course, that Starboard Systems quite literally came into existence today. According to several different sources, they have their roots in a company called Reldata, which was also a provider of storage systems. Starboard has stated that they will continue to support existing Reldata products, though they will no longer be supplying new systems.

I do have to wonder, though, about Starboard System’s decision to enter the enterprise storage market just as other companies are beginning to diversify. It really does seem like a bit of a gamble at this point in time, even with the advanced capabilities of their new product. Perhaps previous reports regarding the saturation of this market segment were overstated. On the other hand, it could be that Starboard will begin expanding their business rapidly to ensure continued growth.

Whatever ends up happening, it’s certainly going to be an interesting year for the enterprise storage market, as we now have another strong player in what is turning out to be a fascinating part of the industry. I think what may be so intriguing, specifically, is the fact that multiple participants in this segment have released SSD caching solutions, Starboard Systems being the latest entry.

Seeing as only one company is supplying caching software for the consumer space at the moment, the opportunity seems ripe for the introduction of another contestant in this young but promising field. Being that Ultrabooks, one of the main benefactors of SSD caching, are expected to explode in popularity, this avenue certainly seems like an excellent path to business growth bliss. With any luck, enterprise oriented firms will embrace being diverse in lieu of having an adverse reaction to what could possibly be one of the most lucrative markets this year.

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May 102012
 

Starboard Storage Systems, a data storage hardware startup, has raised $13 million in venture capital from a pair of German investment firms.

The 39-employee company is based in Broomfield.

JP Ventures GmBH, of Öhringen, Germany, joined existing investor Grazia Equity GmbH, of Stuttgart, in the funding round.

Starboard had considered three or four other VC firms interested in investing in it, but chose the relatively new JP Ventures because its approach to investing seemed the best fit, said Victor Walker, Starboard’s CEO.

“They take a long-term view, and they invest to build companies,” he said.

Starboard started in 2010 in New Jersey, backed by Wall Street investors who wanted to create a modern data storage technology company. They attracted local data storage industry veterans Bill Chambers, a co-founder of Lefthand Networks, and Walker, formerly of Storage Technology Corp. and Sun Microsystems.

They moved the company’s headquarters to Broomfield to draw on the many experienced software and data-storage workers in the northwest metro area.

It started selling its data-storage devices to IT systems resellers in February.

“We’ve had great early customer validation and traction,” Walker said. “With the raising of this round, we’ll significantly scale up our sales presence nationwide and beef up our support for those customers.”

Starboard sells exclusively through resellers, and it has 50 signed up so far, he said.

In the next 60 days, Starboard expects to expand from the company’s current sales force of nine to 24 or more around the country. Their job will be to work with valued-added resellers.

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 May 10, 2012  Starboard Storage